Two newspapers and a state lawmaker received FOI Oklahoma's top awards during the organization's Sunshine Week activities.
The Marian Opala First Amendment Award was presented Saturday to the Enid News & Eagle. The Ben Blackstock Award went to the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.Republican state Rep. Jason Nelson was presented the Sunshine Award for opening the doors of secrecy at the Department of Human Services.FOI Oklahoma gave Governor Mary Fallin and her attorney, Steve Mullins, the Black Hole Award for what is considered damage to the public's right to know about governmental activity.
The organization says Fallin has used executive privilege to block the release of emails and other documents, including her communications with her 14 Cabinet members. FOI Oklahoma says state courts have not recognized these privileges.The records the governor has refused to release could shed light on why Fallin refused to create a state health insurance exchange. FOI Oklahoma is a statewide organization that for 23 years has promoted education of the First Amendment and openness in government.